Farmgate production is expected to rise by 7% to $65 billion in 2020/21, helped by Australia’s second largest winter crop and a promising rainfall outlook.
ABARES’ December quarter 2020 Agriculture Commodities report points to continued recovery from drought and resilience from the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis.
“Overall, Australian agricultural production is bouncing back from the drought,” says ABARES executive director Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds.
“Australian producers manage one of the most variable environments in the world so ebbs and flows in production are to be expected.
“We’re expecting a near all-time high winter crop, the best ever in New South Wales, and a more favourable outlook for summer cropping than we have seen in recent years.
“Livestock prices have also stayed high with herd and flock rebuilding, and continued international demand.”
While production is forecast to rise by seven per cent to $65 billion, exports are expected to fall by 7% from last year to $44.7 billion.
“Exports have continued to find markets during the pandemic but the residual effect of past dry seasons and trade uncertainties are pushing down export value,” Dr Hatfield-Dodds says.
“Recovery from drought is limiting production and exports of livestock products and fibres, with meat prices also falling as the African Swine Fever impact on China’s pork production begins to lessen.
“There are a number of risks present for the rest of 2021 that remain a watch point, including wine trade with China and labour shortages for the horticulture sector.”